Here, for readers living outside of the catchment area of the Carmarthenshire Herald, is this week's excellent, and poetic, 'Cadno' piece;
Cadno’s cacophonic councillor
Cadno has an abiding interest in the power of words, especially poetry. The other evening, as he was a-rambling about the countryside when he came across a county councillor, a-weeping in the hedgerows.
Cadno peered at the sobbing burgher, whose lament pierced the silence of the wee small hours and drove away Cadno’s prey.
Deprived of a meal, Cadno listened carefully and took notes by the light of the moon. If he was not going to have supper, he would at least take away a memento of the evening.
Carmarthen’s in Carmarthenshire,
A town, if not a city;
The river Towy, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side;
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,
Almost fifteen years ago,
To see the county suffer so
From Indies, was a pity.
They fought like dogs, if not like cats,
And dined upon the civic table,
And drank hard liquor out of vats,
And got votes from babies in the cradle,
Had the brains of salted sprats,
Wore their fancy Sunday hats,
And even kept up pointless chats,
Drowning out others’ speaking
In endless shrieking and ceaseless squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.
Upon the door, there came a knocking
The door opened wide and there, quite shocking
Stood an empty suit of modest grey
It was Mark James, as bright as day.
Advancing to the council-table:
Said he, "Your honours, I am able,
By means of a secret charm, to draw
All creatures living beneath the sun,
That creep or swim or fly or run,
After me so as you never saw!
And I chiefly use my charm
On truths and facts that do you harm,
The mole and whistle-blower, those vipers;
Who tend to make you soil your diapers."
Meryl Gravell fairly boggled
As this suited figure she ogled
This was the man she was looking for
"Come in kind sir, and close the door"
Said she with the winsome smile
From which all others ran a mile.
"There is, perhaps a job for you
But tell us, what is it that you do?"
"Ah, Madame Meryl", the suit drew near,
"I’ll make your problems disappear."
The spectral garb, bought fresh from Burtons,
Gestured an empty sleeve towards the curtains.
Pulling back the hanging drapes
They looked down on the scuttling shapes
Below the shadow of Gaol Hill
Seeing common-folk made Meryl ill.
"Quickly, quickly, draw those screens
I cannot bear it by any means.
Up here in Council hard we try
To improve the lives of the hoi polloi
But what they want is bread and a circus
Not direct rule by their burghers."
The empty suit shrugged its shoulders
The Council room suddenly was much colder.
“Well, I’ll tell you, my dear Miss”
Said the spectre with a hiss
"I can all your fears allay
And make all questions go away.
I have a most amazing scheme
To captivate the proles, my queen."
The suit drew up to Meryl near
And whispered its plan in her ear
"A stadium, we’ll build" he hissed
"A few million won’t be missed
From reading, learning and the rest.
We’ll say our spending’s for the best.
If they mention Boston’s Princess Royal
We’ll slander them, call them disloyal.
We’ll feed them bullshit by and by
And praise our acumen to the sky.
They’ll believe it, like you do,
And out of them we’ll money screw
For parking on land they already own
And closing down Llanelli town."
And think of this", said the ghostly mentor
"We’ll even build a wellness centre
Or say we will, given a little hit
Of money from the public tit
We’ll say we can get the project backed
And from our wrongs public distract.
‘Look what we’ll do’ will be our charm
To distract from poor Emlyn’s barns
Our plans will be known far and wide
From Burry Port to Ferryside
Our fame will spread and none will learn
It is an albino pachyderm
Until we both are beyond reach
Sipping cocktails on the beach."
In Meryl’s eyes, a glimmer flickered
Into her handkerchief she snickered.
"A captivating vision, oh CBE,
It finds favour with my party and me.
But who will shoulder all the trouble
When our plans turn to rubble?"
The suit adopted a pensive pose,
Whom to ridicule would it expose?
"We’ll pack committees full of dummies:
Dumbos, monkeys and your buddies.
When it goes wrong they’ll take the blame
For sitting on our gravy train.
And if long enough we decide to bide
We can dump it all and then blame Plaid."
"On what a merry dance we’ve been led
While Carmarthenshire has been bled!"
Said Cadno’s councillor in his cups
As he eventually he reached the crux
Of his dirge frightful, the wretched soul.
On looking closer, ‘twas Emlyn Dole.
Republished with permission.